SELDA's wish on Imelda Marcos's birthday: "Put her in jail"

On Imelda Marcos's 92nd birthday, former Martial Law victims under the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) assert the call for the immediate arrest and incarceration of the former first lady.

"The only greeting that Imelda Marcos will receive from us is our wish for her arrest as soon as possible. As she roams freely in her lavish mansion and celebrates her birthday in her extravagant fashion, we will always be reminded of her and her family's crimes and plunder of the nation's coffers," said Rosalia Bacarra, the group's secretary general.

In November 2018, Marcos was convicted of seven counts of graft for the creation of private foundations in Switzerland when she was governor of Metro Manila. She was sentenced to imprisonment of not less than 42 years – six to 11 years for each count of graft. The Sandiganbayan's Fifth Division also disqualified her from holding public office.

As of this writing, she has served none.

"It's very frustrating to see her free, especially since the government has considered her 'old age' and 'health' in organizing her arrest. Meanwhile, a lot of sick and elderly political prisoners are still lamentably suffering behind bars, despite the efforts to release them under humanitarian grounds. Clearly, this shows how the filthy rich can get away with anything under the country's current judicial system," she added.

The SELDA official cited the case of 75-year old political prisoner Jesus Alegre, who recently died in prison. Alegre was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, uncontrolled diabetes type 2, ischemic heart disease, and possible chronic kidney disease. He was not released until he died last June 13.

"The lack of action on Imelda Marcos's case is a clear manifestation of the dismal state of our country's judicial system. It has been almost three years since she has been convicted of graft, and the Filipino people are still deprived of justice. We have received no reports on the Supreme Court's proceedings or decision on the appeal that her camp has filed. We are still hoping that the Sandiganbayan's decision will be affirmed immediately," she elaborated.

"We, as former victims of the horrific Martial Law, will never forget how Imelda Marcos, her fascist husband, and her evil family, has watched us suffer from fascist attacks and worsening poverty while they hijack the nation's wealth and lead posh lifestyles. We will never falter to demand and fight for justice and accountability. Jail Imelda now!" she ended.